Socially critical and groundbreaking works by Paul McCarthy and a large-scale exhibition dedicated to Nikolai Astrup are among the highlights at KODE Art Museums and Composers Home in Bergen this autumn. In addition to old favorites returning after refurbishing, a grotesque world premiere in Bergen Norway is in the pipeline.
“The audience can look forward to being seduced, upset, provoked and outraged,” says director Petter Snare. The program ranges from a research-based exhibition about Astrup and Bergen’s interwar artists, to the first major exhibition by the British artist Paul McCarthy (b. 1945) in a Norwegian museum.
«With extraordinary allocations for art purchases from the Ministry of Culture during the pandemic, I also look forward to display what we have collected in the last two years,” says Snare.
Works from KODE’s collection by Nikolai Astrup have this year aroused great success in the USA under the title «Visions of Norway». Now the art returns to Western Norway for the large-scale exhibition “Raw Nature” which opens on 15 October.
«This will be the largest Astrup exhibition in a long time in Bergen with almost a hundred works. The audience can look forward to a reunion with well-known, but also completely newly discovered works», says Snare.
The exhibition is curated by the British art historian Mary Anne Stevens.
The exhibition “Bergen painters in Paris 1920” curated by the honored art historian Gunnar Danbolt opens November 12. It deals with how the stay of seven Norwegian artists with French André Lhôte (1885–1962) would affect the art life in Bergen in the interwar period.
For the exhibition, KODE has made several purchases to strengthen the collection of this important period in Bergen’s history.
World premiere: Paul McCartney solo exhibition
In KODE’s series of exhibitions with central American art, the museum is proud to present a living legend this autumn. A comprehensive presentation of the artist Paul McCarthy opens on 19 November.
With highly socially critical and groundbreaking works, McCarthy has created disgust, protests and debate in the United States since the late 1960s. He is known for mixing grotesque and violent expressions with symbols from popular culture and the consumer industry.
«All the works in the exhibition are newly produced for Bergen and reflect the present in a completely unique way”, says Snare.
The exhibition consists of a video installation in a specially built room, a performance, and a wide selection of drawings and sculptures. The exhibition is curated by Philip Larratt-Smith.
Norwegian contemporary art: New acquisitions
On December 3, opens the extensive group exhibition «First the Good News».
For KODE, the pandemic’s extra funding has quadrupled its procurement budget, and for the first time an opportunity to make broad purchases from the contemporary art scene. The works are primarily purchased from local exhibition venues and artists associated with Western Norway.
«We have taken a critical approach to identify shortcomings and skewed representation in the collections”, says Snare.
A large selection of what has been acquired through purchases, deposits and gifts in recent years will be displayed. Among them, installations by Siri Aurdal and Bergen artist Toril Johannessen, paintings by Ida Ekblad, central court drawings by Esther Maria Bjørneboe and art by Sami Britta Marakatt-Labba.
The audience success “Paul Cézanne: Masterpieces from the Courtauld” will also be shown throughout the autumn, until 12 October.
KODE Art Museums and Composer Homes in Bergen is one of the largest museums for art, craft, design and music in the Nordic countries.
KODE has a unique combination of art museums and composers’ homes, of contemporary art, historical objects, concerts and parklands.
The museums stewards almost 50,000 objects ranging from paintings, works on paper, sculptures, installations, videos, musical instruments, furniture and works of fine craft and design. These objects can be experienced in four museum buildings in Bergen city centre (KODE 1, 2, 3 and 4), and in the homes of the composers Ole Bull, Harald Sæverud and Edvard Grieg.
Grotesque World Premiere In Bergen Norway, based on a press release from Kode Bergen.